Accumulations of Projections--A Unified Framework for Random Sketches in Kernel Ridge Regression

Yifan Chen, Yun Yang

Building a sketch of an n-by-n empirical kernel matrix is a common approach to accelerate the computation of many kernel methods. In this paper, we propose a unified framework of constructing sketching methods in kernel ridge regression (KRR), which views the sketching matrix S as an accumulation of m rescaled sub-sampling matrices with independent columns. Our framework incorporates two commonly used sketching methods, sub-sampling sketches (known as the Nystr\"om method) and sub-Gaussian sketches, as special cases with m=1 and m=infinity respectively. Under the new framework, we provide a unified error analysis of sketching approximation and show that our accumulation scheme improves the low accuracy of sub-sampling sketches when certain incoherence characteristic is high, and accelerates the more accurate but computationally heavier sub-Gaussian sketches. By optimally choosing the number m of accumulations, we show that a best trade-off between computational efficiency and statistical accuracy can be achieved. In practice, the sketching method can be as efficiently implemented as the sub-sampling sketches, as only minor extra matrix additions are needed. Our empirical evaluations also demonstrate that the proposed method may attain the accuracy close to sub-Gaussian sketches, while is as efficient as sub-sampling-based sketches.

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